Dhanteras ushers in the celebrated festival of lights -- Diwali. Dhanteras is also known as Dhantrayodashi, which is the 13th day of the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. The festival of Dhanteras used to be observed only by a few communities. But now, it has become a trend among everyone and almost all Hindus celebrate Dhanteras with equal vigour.
Dhanteras is considered to be an auspicious day to buy items such as gold, silver and household utensils . There are a lot of legends associated with Dhanteras which make it an important day in the Hindu calendar. Most people complete Diwali shopping on this day. The first lamps of Diwali are lit on the day.
On the day of Dhanteras, the God and Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and Kuber are worshipped together. There are two popular legends associated with Dhanteras. It is believed that during the churning of the ocean, the divine doctor Dhanvantari emerged from the ocean with the elixir on Dhanteras.
On that particular day, the prince's newly married wife decided to play a trick. She laid down all her jewellery, coins in heaps near the door of the sleeping chamber and lit lamps all over the palace. Then she started narrating stories to her husband to prevent him from falling asleep.
Then Yama came in the guise of a serpent. His eyes were blinded by the shine of the coins and jewellery. In the morning, Yama went away. Thus the prince was saved from the clutches of death.
Therefore, Dhanteras came to be associated with purchase of valuables. Take a look at the rituals of Dhanteras.
Materials You Require For The Puja
- One diya (lamp) made of flour dough with 4 wicks
- Wicks, oil/ghee and matchbox
- A cowry shell
- Flowers, rice, roli
- Sacred water (Ganga Jal) and a spoon
- Aasan to be seated on
- Kheel & Batasha
- Dhoop & Dhoopdaan
How To Perform The Puja
The rituals of performing the puja are very simple. Usually, women of the house gather together to perform the puja. But in some households, even the male members perform the puja along with the women. At the right muhurtam, the diya with four wicks are placed on a podium and lighted with ghee or oil. The cowry shell is placed on the diya along with the coins. Then the diya is lit in the honour of Lord Yamaraj. This is to pay respect to the deceased members of the family. That is why this diya is also known as Yamadeep.
The Ganga Jal or holy water is sprinkled around the diya. Then flowers, rice and roli are offered to the diya. Four sweets are offered to each wick of the diya. Kheel and batasha is offered. Then, the dhoop is lit.
The women are supposed to go four times around the diya and pray for the prosperity of the family. The eldest woman of the house puts tilak on the forehead of all the family members. The male member of the house has to cover his head with a cloth, take the diya and keep it at the right side of the entrance of the house.
After taking blessings from God and elders, the Dhanteras puja concludes. After that Lakshmi and Kuber are worshipped by the members of the family to gain wealth and prosperity.
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